NAKAMURA KICHIEMON II

Stage names:

Nakamura Kichiemon II In Japanese
Nakamura Mannosuke In Japanese

Real names: Namino Tatsujir˘ [9], Namino Hisanobu [10], Fujima Hisanobu

Pen name:

Matsu Kanshi In Japanese

Guild: Harimaya

Line number: NIDAIME (II)

Existence: 22 May 1944 ~ 28 November 2021

Connections:

Great-great-grandfather: Nakamura Karoku I

Great-grandfather: Nakamura Karoku III

Grandfathers: Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII, Nakamura Kichiemon I

Father: Matsumoto Haku˘ I (K˘shir˘ VIII)

Adoptive father: Nakamura Kichiemon I

Brother: Matsumoto Haku˘ II (K˘shir˘ IX)

Son-in-law: Onoe Kikunosuke V

Grandson: Onoe Ushinosuke VII

Career:

June 1948: he made his first appearance on stage at the T˘ky˘ Gekij˘, receiving the name of Nakamura Mannosuke.

July 1953: revival at the Meijiza of Kawatake Shinshichi III's 1878 drama "Tsűzoku Saiyűki"; Mannosuke played the role of Kinkan [casting].

September 1954: his grandfather (and adoptive father) Nakamura Kichiemon I died.

January 1961: Mannosuke and his brother Ichikawa Somegor˘ VI signed exclusive contracts with the T˘h˘ Company and left the Sh˘chiku Company, followed in March by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VIII, Ichikawa Chűsha VIII and Nakamura Shikaku II.

July 1963: revival at the Yomiuri Hall in T˘ky˘ of Namiki Sh˘z˘ I's drama "Kuwanaya Tokuz˘ Irifune Monogatari"; Mannosuke played the role of Takamaru Kamejir˘ [casting].

May 1965: Nakamura Mannosuke took the name of Nakamura Kichiemon II at the Imperial Theater, playing the roles of Konoshita T˘kichi and Munesada in the dramas "Kinkakuji" and "Seki no To".

December 1966: second month of the opening ceremony of the National Theatre with the full length performance of the classic "Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami"; Kichiemon played the role of Ume˘maru [casting].

February 1967: premiere at the Kabukiza of Hagiwara Yukio's dance-drama "Dattan"; Kichiemon played the role of a rengy˘shű [casting].

September 1970: Kichiemon played for the first time the role of Kumagai Naozane in the drama "Kumagai Jin'ya", which was staged at the Imperial Theater.

1972: Kichiemon left the T˘h˘ Kabuki troupe and went back to the Sh˘chiku Company.

June 1973: revival at the National Theatre of Tsuruya Nanboku IV and Sakurada Jisuke II drama "Kokoro no Nazo Toketa Iroito"; Kichiemon played the role of Honj˘ Tsunagor˘ [casting].

August 1979: revival at the National Theatre Kawatake Shinshichi II's drama "Kanzen Ch˘aku Nozoki Garakuri"; Kichiemon played the roles of Murai Ch˘an and the Iseya bant˘ Kyűhachi [casting].

January 1980: Kichiemon took part in the first Kabuki performances at the Asakusa K˘kaid˘ [more details].

June ~ July 1990: Kichiemon took part in a Kabuki tour in the USA, performing in 26 shows in several big cities; he played the roles of Narukami and Tamanoi in the plays "Narukami" and "Migawari Zazen" [casting]. Kichiemon also played the role of Musashib˘ Benkei in the play "Kanjinch˘", which was performed only in Los Angeles.

September 1999: Kichiemon played for the first time the role of the larger-than-life king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon in the rare jidaimono "Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe", which was staged at the Kabukiza.

October 1999: premiere at the Kanamaruza of "Tomoe Gozen", a dance created by Matsu Kanshi (alias Kichiemon).

January 2001: Kichiemon played at the National Theatre the role of Sodehagi, one of the most difficult female roles in the Kabuki repertoire, in the drama "ďshű Adachi-ga-Hara". Kichiemon successfully overcame this great challenge.

April 2001: Kichiemon played for the first time the prestigious and visual role of Taira no Tomomori in the jidaimono "Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura", which was staged at the Kabukiza.

October 2001: Kichiemon played for the first time the role of the wicked Motoemon in the drama "Tengajaya-mura", which was staged at the National Theatre.

15 December 2002: Kichiemon joined the prestigious Japan Art Academy (Nihon Geijutsuin).

April 2003: Kichiemon played for the first time the role of Wat˘nai in Chikamatsu Monzaemon's masterpiece "Kokusen'ya Gassen", which was staged at the Kabukiza.

September 2003: the Kabukiza commemorated the 49th anniversary (50th memorial service) of the death of his grandfather Nakamura Kichiemon I; Kichiemon played 2 of his adoptive father's favourite roles, K˘chiyama S˘shun in "K˘chiyama" and Shunkan in "Heike Nyogo no Shima".

May 2006: Kichiemon played at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘ the roles of Danshichi Kurobŕ, Ishikawa Goemon and Beniya Ch˘bŕ in the dramas "Natsu Matsuri", "Z˘ho Futatsu Domoe" and "Sh˘chikubai Yushima no Kakegaku".

September 2006: a special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) was produced at the Kabukiza to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the birth of the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan. The stars of this program were his descendants Kichiemon and his brother Matsumoto K˘shir˘ IX; Kichiemon played the roles of Nan Yohŕ (later Nanp˘ Jűjibŕ), Takebe Genz˘ and Sano Jir˘zaemon in "Hikimado", "Terakoya" and "Kagotsurube" [more details].

January 2007: Kichiemon received the 48th Mainichi Performing Arts Awards (2006) and the Special Award of the 6th Asahi Performing Arts Awards (2006).

September 2007: second edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane, Chichibu no Sh˘ji Shigetada and Kat˘ Kiyomasa in "Kumagai Jin'ya", "Akoya" and "Nij˘-j˘ no Kiyomasa" [more details].

September 2008: third edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of the boatman Matsuemon/Higuchi Jir˘ Kanemitsu, Sasaki Moritsuna and the priest K˘chiyama S˘shun in "Sakaro", "Moritsuna Jin'ya" and "K˘chiyama" [more details].

September 2009: Kichiemon played at the Kabukiza the roles of Takechi Mitsuhide, Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ, Togashi Saemon [4] and Bench˘ in "Badarai no Mitsuhide", "Suzu-ga-Mori", "Kanjinch˘" and "Odosha" [more details].

September 2010: 4th edition of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan), for the 1st time at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Jűbŕ, Sagamiya Masagor˘ and Shunkan in "Numazu", "Arakawa no Sakichi" and "Shunkan" [more details].

July 2011: Kichiemon received the prestigious title of Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuh˘ in Japanese).

September 2011: 5th edition of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) [5], for the 1st time at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Matsu˘maru, Ujiie Naizen and Matsu˘maru in "Terakoya", "Hototogisu Koj˘ no Rakugetsu" and "Kurumabiki" [more details].

September 2012: 6th edition of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan), for the 3rd time at the Shinbashi Enbuj˘, to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Matsu˘maru, K˘chiyama S˘shun and Takechi Mitsuhide in "Terakoya", "K˘chiyama" and "Badarai no Mitsuhide" [more details].

September 2014: 7th edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of H˘kaib˘ and Takechi Mitsuhide in "H˘kaib˘" and "Taijű" [more details].

November 2014: the Annual Festive Face-Showing Grand Kabuki at the Kabukiza commemorated the 32nd anniversary (33rd memorial service) of the passing away of Matsumoto Haku˘ I. His two sons, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ and Kichiemon, were the zagashira [more details].

December 2014: "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" was staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen (5 acts, 6 scenes), including the rarely-staged "Fujikawa Shinseki" and "Okazaki Yamada K˘bŕ Sumika" acts (they were staged for the last time more than 44 years ago, in September 1970 at the National Theatre), at the National Theatre with Kichiemon as zagashira; he played the role of Karaki Masaemon [more details].

September 2015: 8th edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Ki no Aritsune and Nikki Danj˘ in "Hade Kurabe Ise Monogatari" and "Meiboku Sendai Hagi" [more details].

November 2015: revival at the National Theatre of the drama "Shinrei Yaguchi no Watashi" (t˘shi ky˘gen in 4 acts); Kichiemon played the role of Yura Hy˘gonosuke Nobutada [more details|casting].

September 2016: 9th edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Ichij˘ ďkura Naganari and Daihanji no Kiyosumi in "Ichij˘ ďkura Monogatari" and "Yoshinogawa" [more details].

March 2017: "Igagoe D˘chű Sugoroku" was staged as a t˘shi ky˘gen at the National Theatre. The core of this revival was "Okazaki". The third act, commonly called "Engakuji", which was staged for the last time in February 1931 at the Meijiza, was revived as well; Kichiemon played the role of Karaki Masaemon [more details | casting].

September 2017: 10th edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) [6] to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Banzuiin Ch˘bŕ and the boatman Matsuemon/Higuchi Jir˘ Kanemitsu in "Yudono no Ch˘bŕ" and "Sakaro" [more details].

January 2018: Kichiemon played at the Kabukiza the role of Togashi Saemon [8] in the drama "Kanjinch˘", which was staged to celebrate the first month of the 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII.

February 2018: Kichiemon played at the Kabukiza the role of Ii Naosuke in the drama "Ii Tair˘", which was staged to celebrate the second month of the 3-generation K˘raiya shűmei (K˘raiya Sandai Shűmei) of Matsumoto Haku˘ II, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII.

September 2018: 11th edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of K˘chiyama S˘shun and Shunkan in "K˘chiyama" and "Shunkan" [more details].

September 2019: 12th edition at the Kabukiza of "Shűzan Matsuri" [7] (the festival of Shűzan) to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I, whose's haimy˘ was Shűzan; Kichiemon played the roles of Jűbŕ and Matsu˘maru in "Numazu" and "Terakoya" [more details].

September 2020: Kichiemon played at the Kabukiza the role of Nuregami Ch˘gor˘ [3] in the drama "Hikimado". This September program was not the usual special program called "Shűzan Matsuri" (the festival of Shűzan), which used to be staged at the Kabukiza to commemorate the great actor Nakamura Kichiemon I. In 2020, only "Hikimado" was staged in the spirit of the Shűzan's Festival.

November 2020: Kichiemon played at the National Theatre the roles of Taira no Kiyomori and Shunkan in the drama "Heike Nyogo no Shima".

January 2021: Kichiemon played at the Kabukiza the role of ďboshi Yuranosuke in the drama "Gion Ichiriki Jaya". He performed from the 2nd to the 16th, fell ill, recovered and performed again from the 25th to the 27th of January [1].

March 2021: Kichiemon appeared on stage for the last time, in T˘ky˘ at the Kabukiza, where he played the role of the king of thieves Ishikawa Goemon in the drama "Sanmon"; the role of Mashiba Hisayoshi was played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X. Kichiemon played from the 4th (shonichi) to the 28th. He fell ill and had to be replaced the 29th (senshűraku) by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X [2].

May 2021: Kichiemon was expected to play the role of Sat˘ Masakiyo in the drama "Hachijin". As he was still in sick leave, he was replaced from shonichi to senshűraku by Nakamura Karoku V.

28 November 2021: Kichiemon died of heart failure.

Comments:

Living National Treasure Nakamura Kichiemon II was an amazing tachiyaku and one of the most popular contemporary actors. A stage giant of the Heisei era.

"He specializes in the male heroes of jidaimono, the historical plays, and the role of commoner in sewamono, Edo-period dramas. He is especially popular because of his ability to depict the warmth and humanity of these characters. Another role with which he is closely associated is one that he played for ten years in the TV series "Onihei Hankach˘". He played Hasegawa Heiz˘, a government law enforcement officer who is partial to alcohol and has a soft spot for criminals, unless they are murderers. Kichiemon himself admits to feeling a special fondness for this role." (from an article written by Jean Wilson for the website Metropolis)

Nakamura Kichiemon II's best roles : K˘chiyama S˘shun ("K˘chiyama"), Kumagai Jir˘ Naozane ("Kumagai Jin'ya"), the boatman Matsuemon/Higuchi Jir˘ Kanemitsu ("Hirakana Seisuiki") and Matsu˘maru ("Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami").

[1] He was replaced from the 17th to the 24th of January by Nakamura Baigyoku IV.

[2] For the last day of the March 2021 program, Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X was replaced by Nakamura Ganjir˘ IV to play the the role of Mashiba Hisayoshi.

[3] The roles of Nan Yohŕ (later Nanp˘ Jűjibŕ), Ohaya and Ok˘ were played by Onoe Kikunosuke V, Nakamura Jakuemon V and Nakamura T˘z˘ VI.

[4] The roles of Musashib˘ Benkei and Minamoto no Yoshitsune were played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ IX and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VII. This production of "Kanjinch˘" celebrated the 60th anniversary of the passing away of Matsumoto K˘shir˘ VII.

[5] This program celebrated the shűmei of Nakamura Matagor˘ III and his elder son Nakamura Kash˘ IV.

[6] The drama "Saikai Zakura Misome no Kiyomizu", which was written by Matsu Kanshi (the pen name of Kichiemon) and premiered in 1985, was produced in this program with Ichikawa Somegor˘ VII and Nakamura Jakuemon V in the roles of the priest Seigen and Princess Sakura.

[7] The dramas "Numazu" and "Matsuura no Taiko" were staged to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passing away of Nakamura Karoku III (who died the 17th of May 1919). There was also the omemie of Nakamura Kash˘ IV's son Ogawa S˘ma.

[8] The roles of Musashib˘ Benkei and Minamoto no Yoshitsune were played by Matsumoto K˘shir˘ X and Ichikawa Somegor˘ VIII.

[9] He changed his real name when he took the name of Nakamura Kichiemon II in 1966.

[10] He changed his family name when he was adopted by his grandfather.

Nakamura Kichiemon II playing the role of Kajiwara Heiz˘ Kagetoki the drama "Ishikiri Kajiwara" (print made by Yamamoto Hisashi)

Prints & Illustrations

Print made by Tsuruya K˘kei in 1988

The Matsu Kanshi line of playwrights

The Nakamura Kichiemon line of actors

 
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